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The 5 Stages Of Nail Melanoma
Nail melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer that grows to affect the nails, usually the big toe and thumb. This disease can prove to be very deadly, however treatments are readily available if diagnosed early.
This disease is often referred to as, Malignant Melanoma of Nail Unit or Nail Unit Melanoma.
- The pigment producing cells of the body, called Melanocytes, is where the Melanoma cancer develops. The Melanocytes are responsible for giving our skin its color.
- The development of Melanoma cancer, usually begins from a finger or toenail, however thats not always the case.
- It has the tendency to affect the areas around such as the sides of nail or the nail bed. In fact, it may also spread to other parts of the body, if not treated on time.
- The big toe or thumb is usually the first to get affected, however it may vary according to each case.
- The Nail Unit Melanoma is divided into 3 main types:
- Nail Melanoma is most common in light/fair skinned people as opposed to dark skinned people.
There are 5 stages of Nail Melanoma, stated as follows
Stage 1: aka Stage O Melanoma
This stage is also referred to as Melanoma in situ, meaning site of origination of Melanoma. At this point, a tumor has formed on the outermost layer of the skin, epidermis.
Stage 2: aka Stage I Melanoma
This stage is further categorized into two:
Stage IA: At this stage, the tumor is less than a mm deep and has no signs of an ulcer.
Stage 3: aka Stage II Melanoma
Can Changing My Diet Help Prevent Melanoma
The American Cancer Society advocates eating a plant-based diet over an animal-based diet as part of a healthy plan to avoid all cancers. Growing evidence suggests that plants pack a powerful punch in any fight against cancer because they’re nutritious, cholesterol-free and fiber-rich.
Theres no doubt that a healthy diet can protect your immune system. Having a strong immune system is important to help your body fight disease. Some research has shown that a Mediterranean diet is a healthy choice that may help prevent the development of cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about the role food plays in lowering your cancer risks.
Some skin and immune-system healthy foods to consider include:
- Daily tea drinking: The polyphenols in tea help strengthen your immune system. Green tea contains more polyphenols than black tea.
- High vegetable consumption: Eating carrots, cruciferous and leafy vegetables is linked to the prevention of cutaneous melanoma.
- Weekly fish intake: Study participants who ate fish weekly seemed to avoid developing the disease when compared to those who did not eat fish weekly.
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The Risks The Causes What You Can Do
Skin cancers like melanoma have damaged DNA in skin cells that lead to uncontrolled growth of these cells. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds damage DNA in your skin cells. Your immune system repairs some of this damage but not all. Over time, the remaining DNA damage can lead to mutations that cause skin cancer. Many other factors also play a role in increasing the risk for melanoma, including genetics , skin type or color, hair color, freckling and number of moles on the body.
Understanding what causes melanoma and whether youre at high risk of developing the disease can help you prevent it or detect it early when it is easiest to treat and cure.
These factors increase your melanoma risk:
Melanoma Early Detection And Treatment Are Critical
Although it accounts for less than 5% of all skin cancer cases, melanoma is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. This form of cancer starts in the melanocytes, cells deep in the epidermis, or in moles on the surface of the skin that produce pigment.
Early detection and treatment are critical to prevent this cancer from spreading throughout the body.
Melanoma has several distinguishing characteristics that experts call the ABCDEs. A mole or growth is considered suspicious if
- it is Asymmetrical, meaning that each half of the growth looks different from the other
- its orders are irregular, ragged, or blurry
- its Color is unusual
- its Diameter exceeds 6 millimeters, about that of a pencil eraser
- it has Evolved, enlarged, or changed in any way.
If you have a mole with any of these characteristics, see your doctor for a thorough skin exam.
Rates of melanoma have been rising for at least three decades. Your risk of developing melanoma is higher if you have
- red or blond hair
- a history of being in the sun a lot, especially as a child
- a mother, father, sister, or brother with melanoma.
Features of freckles or moles that raise your risk of melanoma include
For more on melanoma and important information on keeping your skin healthy, buy Skin Care and Repair, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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How Skinvision Can Help You
SkinVision enables you to check your skin spots for signs of skin cancer within 30 seconds. Our algorithm is currently at the level of a specialist dermatologist.In skin spots with a potential health risk, SkinVision provides feedback about the preferred next step to take.
SkinVision also enables you to store photos to keep track of changes over time, helping you to monitor your health in the long term.
The efficient and easy-to-use solution is available for iOS and Android and helps to make skin monitoring a simple routine.
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer Of The Head And Neck
Skin cancers usually present as an abnormal growth on the skin. The growth may have the appearance of a wart, crusty spot, ulcer, mole or sore. It may or may not bleed and can be painful. If you have a preexisting mole, any change in the characteristics of this spot such as a raised or an irregular border, irregular shape, change in color, increase in size, itching or bleeding are warning signs of melanoma. Sometimes the first sign of melanoma or squamous cell cancer is an enlarged lymph node.
Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Specialists
Our head and neck surgeons and speech language pathologists take a proactive approach to cancer treatment. Meet the Johns Hopkins specialists who will work closely with you during your journey.
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Getting The Best Treatment
The good news is, weve taken the stress out of seeing a dermatologist. You dont have to look far for excellent dermatology services. Best of all, theres no waiting.
In many parts of New York and throughout the country, patients often wait weeks before they can see a board-certified dermatologist and receive a diagnosis, much less actual treatment.
Thats no longer necessary.
At Walk-in Dermatology, patients can see a board-certified dermatologist seven days a week. Our dermatologists will evaluate your skin and answer all your questions. We will work with you to set up a treatment plan to address your skin condition and get at the root of your issue all convenient to your schedule.
No more waiting days or even weeks to see a dermatologist. Walk-in Dermatology is here for you. We are open and ready to help you regain healthy skin that positively glows with a youthful look.
Early Warning Signs Of Melanoma
The key to detecting melanoma early is to know what to look for and where to look for it. This isnt always easy, as melanoma can be a master of disguise. It may look like an age spot, a bruise, a sore, a cyst, a scar or a dark line beneath your nail. You may not feel a melanoma, but there are times that it may itch, hurt or bleed.
The ABCDE method may help you determine whether an abnormal skin growth may be melanoma:
- A is for asymmetry: Does the mark look different on each half?
- B is for border: Are the edges jagged or irregular?
- C is for color: Is your lesion uneven in color with specks of black, brown and tan?
- D is for diameter: Is your lesion getting larger?
- E is for evolving or elevation: Has your lesion changed in size, shape or texture over the past few weeks or months?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, or even maybe, see a dermatologist for a proper evaluation. The only way to be sure whether a mole is melanoma is to visit a doctor.
Other melanoma warning signs may include:
- Sores that dont heal
- Pigment, redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot to the surrounding skin
- Itchiness, tenderness or pain
Checking Yourself And Your Loved Ones
Start by checking your entire body, including skin not normally exposed to the sun. You could ask for help from someone else to check difficult-to-see areas, such as your back, neck and scalp.
We recommend that you follow the Ugly Duckling rule. The idea behind the Ugly Duckling rule is that you compare your moles with each other. If any mole stands out or looks different from that of nearby moles, it is the ugly duckling, and we advise you contact a doctor to get an expert opinion.
Early Detection And Treatment Of Skin Cancer
ANTHONY F. JERANT, M.D., University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, California
JENNIFER T. JOHNSON, M.D, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia
CATHERINE DEMASTES SHERIDAN, M.D, Buedingen Army Health Clinic, Buedingen, Germany
TIMOTHY J. CAFFREY, M.D, Commander, Vicenza Army Health Clinic, Vicenza, Italy
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jul 15 62:357-368.
One in six Americans develops skin cancer at some point. Skin cancer accounts for one third of all cancers in the United States. Most patients with skin cancer develop nonmelanoma skin cancer. This group of cancers includes basal cell carcinoma, the most common neoplasm worldwide, and squamous cell carcinoma. Fortunately, mortality associated with nonmelanoma skin cancer is unusual. However, malignant melanoma accounts for 75 percent of all deaths associated with skin cancer.
Melanoma, the eighth most common malignancy in the United States, is the cancer with the most rapidly increasing incidence. One in 1,500 Americans born in 1935 were likely to develop melanoma, compared with one in 105 persons born in 1993.1 In contrast to nonmelanoma skin cancer, which typically affects older persons, the frequency of melanoma peaks between 20 and 45 years of age.
The rising incidence of skin cancer over the past several decades may be primarily attributed to increased sun exposure associated with societal and lifestyle shifts in the U.S. population and to depletion of the protective ozone layer.3
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Education Of Our Youth
The most modifiable risk factor for skin cancer is UVR exposure. We must educate others as to the importance of using sunscreens, in combination with attempting to increase the number of people who use safe sun practices, such as avoiding the sun during peak hours, using protective clothing and head gear, and avoiding the use artificial sources of UV light. There is great concern in regard to the total amount of sun exposure during early childhood, resulting in the implementation of several prevention programs worldwide to reduce the amount of sun exposure during these critical years. The Committee on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics published its recommendations in 1999, urging pediatricians to promote the reduction of sun exposure in children by encouraging the use of sunscreen during outdoor activities, utilization of protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, use of shaded areas, and being mindful of the daily UV index.
Early Detection Of Uveal Melanoma
Monitoring nevi in annual examinations can help find and treat tumors sooner.
Komal B. Desai, BA, MD
Routine eye examinations are an important regimen for patients, not only because they help evaluate visual acuity, but also because they can help detect eye disease and other adverse health conditions. A check for glaucoma is a typical part of the routine eye examination. Less common is a routine check for uveal melanoma.
The incidence of uveal melanoma, the most common primary intraocular cancer in adults, is relatively low, as it is for other forms of eye cancer. These tumors can be difficult to spot and monitor due to their slow growth. The fact that they grow slowly might suggest that the need to check for uveal melanoma is less urgent than for other diseases. However, if undetected, these tumors can be deadly.
It is estimated that 2730 new cases of eye cancer, primarily melanoma, will occur in the United States in 2014, affecting 1290 women and 1440 men.1 The International Society of Ocular Oncology estimates that ocular melanoma affects about 6500 individuals worldwide annually.2
Cancers of the eye and orbit will claim an estimated 310 lives in 2014, including 130 men and 180 women, the American Cancer Society estimates.1 Many more may experience vision loss. Metastasis can also occur, although research indicates that iris melanomas tend to be slow growing, small, and somewhat dormant, and thus they rarely metastasize.3
SYMPTOMS OF UVEAL MELANOMA
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Biological Therapies And Melanoma
Biological therapies are treatments using substances made naturally by the body. Some of these treatments are called immunotherapy because they help the immune system fight the cancer, or they occur naturally as part of the immune system.
There are many biological therapies being researched and trialled, which in the future may help treat people with melanoma. They include monoclonal antibodies and vaccine therapy.
From The Academyearly Detection Of Melanoma: Reviewing The Abcdes
Over the course of their nearly 30-year history, the ABCD criteria have been used globally in medical education and in the lay press to provide simple parameters for assessment of pigmented lesions that need to be further evaluated by a dermatologist. In this article, the efficacy and limitations of the ABCDE criteria as both a clinical tool and a public message will be reviewed.
- Previous article in issue
Funding sources: None.
Disclosure: Dr Tsao served as an investigator for MelaScience receiving equipment, and served as a consultant to Scibase receiving honoraria. Dr Taylor served as a speaker, investigator, and advisory board member for Allergan receiving honoraria and grants served as a speaker and advisory board member for Bieresdorf and Galderma receiving honoraria served as the founder of T2 Skin Care receiving other financial benefits served as an investigator for Teoxane receiving grants served as a consultant and speaker for Unilever receiving honoraria and served as an advisory board member for Valeant receiving honoraria. Dr Chren served as a consultant for Genentech receiving salary. Dr Sober served as a consultant for MelaScience and Worldcare receiving other financial benefits. Ms Olazagasti, Drs Cordoro, Brewer, Bordeaux, and Bhushan, Ms Tegeler, and Ms Smith Begolka have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Conflicts of interest: None declared.
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How Is Melanoma Treated
Your melanoma treatment will depend on the stage of the melanoma and your general health.
Surgery is usually the main treatment for melanoma. The procedure involves cutting out the cancer and some of the normal skin surrounding it. The amount of healthy skin removed will depend on the size and location of the skin cancer. Typically, surgical excision of melanoma can be performed under local anesthesia in the dermatologist’s office. More advanced cases may require other types of treatment in addition to or instead of surgery.
Treatments for melanoma:
- Melanoma Surgery: In the early stages, surgery has a high probability of being able to cure your melanoma. Usually performed in an office, a dermatologist numbs the skin with a local anesthetic and removes the melanoma and margins .
- Lymphadenectomy: In cases where melanoma has spread, removal of the lymph nodes near the primary diagnosis site may be required. This can prevent the spread to other areas of your body.
- Metastasectomy: Metastasectomy is used to remove small melanoma bits from organs.
- Targeted cancer therapy: In this treatment option, drugs are used to attack specific cancer cells. This targeted approach goes after cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy includes treatments with high-energy rays to attack cancer cells and shrink tumors.
- Immunotherapy: immunotherapy stimulates your own immune system to help fight the cancer.
Can Skin Cancer Appear Suddenly
It is the most common type of skin cancer. While basal cell tumors can be small or large, they rarely spread to other parts of the body. Signs include a new or growing bump that is skin colored, pink, or shiny. A growth can develop slowly or appear suddenly.
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Ultraviolet Radiation And The Development Of Melanoma
It is now widely accepted that the major environmental risk factor for the development of primary cutaneous melanoma is UVR, which can be subdivided into ultraviolet A , ultraviolet B , and ultraviolet C . Immediate tanning is caused by UVA and fades within hours or days. Delayed tanning occurs 2 to 3 days after initial exposure to UVA or UVB and lasts several weeks to months. Tanning after exposure to UVR depends on the skin type and the UV Index. UV Index as calculated by the US National Weather Service is reported as a scale from 0 to 11 and takes into account the wavelengths of UVB , UVA , strength of UVR relative to ground level, adjusted skin sensitivity to UVR, ozone concentration, and cloud amounts. Burn frequency after exposure to UVR as related to UV index differs among the various skin types.. The contribution of UVC in the development of skin cancer is considered negligible as most is prevented from reaching the surface of the earth by the atmospheric ozone layer.
Elmwood and Gallagher identified that short, intermittent burning episodes of sun exposure is a major risk factor for the future development of melanoma, resulting in a higher incidence in those individuals with pale, nonacclimated white skin. The specific wavelengths that are known to cause squamous cell cancer in albino hairless mice are bimodal in nature , with the development of cutaneous melanoma seen after exposure to wavelengths of 290 to 320 nm, or the wavelength of UVB.